Aha! At last, here's an intelligent wine thread that -- thank God -- doesn't fall all over itself with snobbishness. Getting into this discussion was one of the main reasons I joined these boards!
My better half and I own a wine shop in Yorba Linda, so I'm something of a wine geek. But I'm happy to say I'm no snob, and learning about adult grape juice has been one of my passions for almost 18 years.
I'll quote Jancis Robinson (Welcome to jancisrobinson.com - JancisRobinson.com) -- one of the world's top experts in wine and the world's first female Master of Wine (that's basically the equivalent of a Ph.D. in the subject) -- from her Oxford Companion to Wine, Third Edition for info about Cot or Auxerrrois, French names for the Malbec grape:
Originally Posted by Fooferah
Cot is an important French synomym for the black grape variety of French origin also known as Malbec and, in Cahors, Auxerrois.
Here's a bit more from JR on Cahors, that area in France she'd mentioned as it relates to Cot/Malbec:
Cahors, increasingly significant wine region in the Quercy region in South West France, producing exclusively red wine, uniquely dependent on the Malbec or Cot grape ... The wine producer of Cahors long suffered from the protectionist measures against such Haut Pays wines influcted on Cahors by the merchants of Bordeaux ... There are records of Cahors being sold in London in the early 13th Century, but the Hundred Years War disrupted patterns of trade ...
By far the largest number of growers (in Cahors) planted an overwhelming majority of Malbec, called here for obscure reasons Auxerrois, a traditional Cahors variety which is nowhere else associated with particularly long-living wines. The appelation rules stipulate that at least 70 percent Auxerrois, supplemented by the tannic Tannat and/or the supple Merlot ...
We have a killer Cahors at our shop, our '04 Clos le Coutale Cahors. We served it for our Father's Day tasting last year, which we called "Dad's Day Dandies," because of its lusty, he-man scents and flavors of ripe blackberry and currant, smoke, earth, and leather. Our customers swooned over the stuff once they tried it, and bought us out of it totally. Small wonder: We sell it for a measly $12. (Yes, it's one of our favorite wines in the shop.)
OK, that's the post I've wanted to make for quite a few weeks. Here's hoping my rambling about what JR calls "the world's most delicious beverage" didn't put too many of you guys off!